Category: Groceries

Pioneer Girl

Hey Everyone!

The story of my life this week has pretty much been knitting, working outside in the garden and reading in the evenings.

I have typically been going out in the late afternoon / early evening to check on the raspberries and the other plants in the garden area we have. I got the lettuce planted earlier in the week, and it seems to be taking really well. I prefer going out a little later, while the sun is still up so I am not out in the heat of the day, especially on the hot days. This week in and of its self has not been too bad to be outside working around.

With what little gardening I am doing where I am at, it is giving me a little taste of what gardening is like, and it is making me want a place of my own with some acreage, so I can have a nice big fruit and vegetable garden in the backyard, a flower garden out front. I would love nothing more than to have fresh homegrown organic berries and vegetables all summer long.

This evening my mom and I had gone for a walk, so I got even more fresh air and time outside in the lovely summer evening breeze. If all summer evenings were like this evening, I would actually enjoy summer. I would enjoy spending part of my day outside in the garden, as well as time inside cooking, baking and using the fruit and vegetables that I brought in from the garden in the evening meal for that day.

As much as the raspberry bushes scratch up my arms and hands, and it does get hot working around outside, the one thing that really gets me are the mosquito bites. Not only are they itchy and annoying, but they also carry the possibility of disease. I am not really a fan of mosquito repellant, the last time I used any was like twelve years ago when I had gone to Missouri. I have taken to wearing a long sleeve shirt and an old pair of jeans to help protect my arms and legs from getting all scratched up from the raspberry bushes, mosquito bites and from getting sunburned. I would rather be a bit hot than deal with the other three.

Earlier this week I started wearing my Carhartt baseball cap when I went out go garden earlier in the week, to help keep the sun out of my eyes and to keep the part in my hair from getting sunburned. Today I actually put sunblock on my face, chest, and arms since I had noticed that I had gotten a bit of sun on my chest yesterday and it was a bit red. While I love being outside and getting fresh air, I am also trying to protect my skin from sun damage.

Making my own citronella candles to have burning while I am out working in the yard and garden is totally on my homesteading bucket list. My homesteading bucket list also includes things like baking my own bread at least weekly, making my own sourdough bread and rolls from scratch, making my own rosemary potato rolls from scratch, raising chickens (both laying hens as well as chickens for eating), having a freezer full of fish and meat (like venison, moose, elk and such) preceding each winter. I would also love to have a cold room full of home canned fruit, green beans, tomato sauce.

Why do it myself when they have all of that at the grocery store? let me tell you something, when it comes to things like canned fruit and store bought baked goods, the store bought has nothing on the flavor of home canned. Yes, it is a lot of work but is part of the point. I have always loved home canned peaches, pears, cherries, garlic dill pickles, as well as homemade bread, cookies and homemade food in general. It is also better for you. I also love being tired at the end of the day after working hard throughout the day.

I am also one of those people who likes knowing where my food comes from and seeing where my food was raised or grown. That is one of the many things I like about living in the Pacific Northwest, we have the right kind of climate that is perfect for growing everything I like to eat, and if it isn’t grown in the state, it is grown in one of the neighboring states. I am all about supporting local as much as possible.

I do appreciate living in the 21st century for many reasons, food quality and dependence on a grocery store are not two of them. I have heard and read the stories about my great grandmothers and grandmothers and all they did from scratch. One set of my great-grandparents were homesteaders for awhile, while they were raising many of their nine children, and I know that another of my great grandmother’s was an avid gardener, so I come by it naturally. I also grew up learning how to can and make somethings from scratch. I have loved working outside, growing things in the ground, playing with dirt, getting dirty, doing things like gardening, fishing, canning, cooking and baking from scratch ever since I was a little girl.

Being able to be self-sufficient and know how to live off the land, and do what used to be simple things, like making a meal completely from scratch, for many in my generation seems like a lost art when it was the norm in the past century. I would love nothing more than to expand on what I already know, and then share what I know with others who are interested in it, but don’t really know where or how to get started.

 

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Weekend Beach Trip

Hey Everyone!

This weekend, I spent it at the beach, attending a ladies retreat.

Friday, I got on the road about 11:00 in the morning. I started off my adventure by going to Astoria, and going to Fort Clatsop.

This is the second replica of the fort that the Lewis and Clark expedition has built and spent the winter of 1805 – 1806 in. The first replica burned down a few years ago.

The weather was decent, it was overcast and cool, but not raining.

I stopped in Rockaway Beach to go down on the beach for a bit before running into Tillamook to go to the grocery store, before returning to Rockaway Beach for the retreat.

Saturday was a great day, I had some great conversations with several of the ladies as well as going on a couple of walks. The first one I had gone on, on my own. I went from the beach house to the center to town (about a mile), and journaled with an ocean view before going back to the house. In the afternoon, a few of the ladies and I went up to my favorite spot, where we walked in the beach for a while. It was really nice.

I have been going to the beach since I was a baby. I have loved the beach ever since then. It is one of the few places I love to be and never get tired of. I have grown up with a healthy respect for the ocean and its power. I love the sound of the waves crashing, and the feel of the water on my feet, and the sand between my toes.

The Seasons of Change

Hey Everyone!

Not only did winter start Thursday morning, but life is changing.

The past few months I have been working a seasonal job in retail. The season for where I work is wrapping up this weekend, and yesterday morning was my last shift. I am not really sad or shocked, I knew it was coming from the time I started.

My 20’s are also quickly coming to and end. I only have a little over a week left of being in my 20’s.

So there is a lot of changes that have been happening, and more coming up.

Looking over back over the past year, and the past decade, I have definitely learned a lot about life, who I am, and what I am supposed to be doing with my life. I have definitely learned a lot about what I am capable of achieving and that failing is a part of life. Often times you just have to pick yourself back up and try something else. At some point (or several) along the way you will figure out your strengths and what you are passionate about. For me personally, I love knitting, I love homemaking (which includes cooking and baking from scratch as well as canning), I love being outdoors and close to nature. I like supporting and buying local, and knowing where my food and clothing comes from. I want to get back to the land, and raise a lot of my own food, and reduce my dependence on the supermarkets, and keep that to only what I can’t feasibly do for myself.

Living a more self sustainable, self reliant (i.e. Homesteader) kind of life is definitely the dream / goal I am working toward.

No Rest for the Weary?

Hey Everyone!

The past couple days have been pretty much on the go non stop. 

Today’s stuff has been primarily Urban Homesteading related. I spent most of the day with my family as well. We went out to a couple farm stands, where we picked up some peaches so my mom and I can water bath can them. We has also picked up a half flat of blackberries, two pints of blueberries and four pints of strawberries. 

Had to also go to the grocery store and cook dinner, before going out and planting some lettuce starts I got for free. I know it’s late in the season, but it’s totally worth a try. Good practice at the planting stages of plants…for future reference. 

After planting the lettuce starts, I came in and my mom and I made three batches of jam, two blackberry and one strawberry. 

We will be canning the peaches a little later in the week. 

While planting the lettuce starts I definitely got a little bit dirty. I have always been one to prefer getting my hands (literally) dirty while working outside in the yard and garden. If I am going to be inside and not knitting or reading a good book, I would just as soon be in the kitchen making stuff that tastes good. 

I definitely give mad props to my great grandmother’s and the women who came before them who also homesteaded without electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing and had several kids under foot. It’s hard enough and tiring enough now days with all the modern conveniences. They already had my respect, but have definitely earned it that much more. 

When the Sun Glows Pink, and the Moon Pumpkin 🎃 Orange

Hey Everyone! 

We have been socked in by wildfire smoke for most of the last couple of weeks. It got a little bit better yesterday and then came back full force today. Most of the smoke is coming down from of wildfires burning in British Columbia. There are a few wildfires here in Oregon and in Washington that we are getting a bit of smoke from, but most of it is coming from the elephant hill fire in BC. The fires are so bad up there that a stretch of Highway 97 is closed for a stretch through the Fraser and Thompson River Canyons. Highway 97 is the longest north – south Highway in BC (and meets up with US 97 at the US / Canadian border, and eventually goes down through Madras, Redmond and Bend in central Oregon). 

At last check the Elephant Hill Fire (the one that we are getting most of our smoke from) has grown to 425 square miles and was about 30% contained. 

With all the smoke in the air, our air quality has been at an unhealthy level (not to mention all the pollution we already have going on). So I have been trying to stay indoors as much as possible with the windows closed. Between the poor air quality and the uncomfortably hot temps, the AC has been my best friend. 

I had gone up to Chehalis this evening to see some friends I hadn’t seen for a while. On the way home, due to the smoke, the sun was glowing this almost hot pinkish orange color. It was weird. Then the Moon has almost this Pumpkin Orange hue to it because of the smoke. My allergies have been crazy and my eyes have been so irritated, since we have had the smoke. Tonight, it reminded me of a couple years ago when I went to Seattle. I remember waking up in my hotel room and going and looking out the window and the sun was glowing a strange color because of the smoke we had that year. 

This weekend has flown by. Friday I ran errands, cooked up some lentils, made some chocolate chip cookies, and by the end of the day I was exhausted. It kind of reminded me of a typical Friday while I was in college. I definitely miss being on my own like that while I was in College. 

Yesterday I spent the day working on finishing up knitting a pair of socks, started cleaning the house, picked raspberries in the backyard and watered the outdoor plants. 

Today I started a new pair of socks, and went to Chehalis. As I am writing this (I began writing it in my head on the way home). While I was so ready to get home while driving back, I have needed a little time (hence writing this post) to wind down so I can go to sleep. 

Here is to going to bed before midnight. 

Icing my Back

Hey Everyone!

I have no idea how idea how I did it, but sometime Saturday evening I strained my back, and by the time I woke up Sunday morning, I was in a lot of pain and had a hard time moving. It is now Thursday, and I am still a bit sore, and it is still a bit more difficult than usual to get around, but I am doing a lot better than I was on Sunday. I am finally able to sit for longer periods, and it is easier to get up from sitting. I have also not taken any pain relievers since Tuesday. I have been able to manage the pain without meds, with alternating positions and icing my back for short periods of time. I am really just trying to let my body heal naturally and on it’s own without much in the way of pain reliever meds. I took some the first couple days because it hurt to do much of anything and I had a couple of events to go to. Now that I can just chill at home, I am going without meds. I don’t want to do more harm to my internal organs than I have to. 

While I have kind of been out of commission the last few days, I have been working on trying to get a pair of socks finished. 

It has also been easier to stay home, where there is air conditioning, especially since yesterday got up to 94 degrees. 

I know I have talked about it in previous posts, about living a simpler life away from the rat race of the city. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to live so far from the city that I can’t make a day trip out of coming into the city and going shopping. For me, there is more to life than being dictated by traffic, and every time I look out the windows, that there are houses, concrete and pavement everywhere. In the city, you deal with more pollution, traffic and such. While I don’t really want to live off grid, or go without electricity, and internet, as long as I have indoor plumbing that is safe and works, as well as AC in the summer, and have fast enough internet to blog, I am more about growing and raising my own food, the way the Woods and hay smells on a hot summer day, or watching the snow fall on the fir trees in the winter. 

Homemaking, blogging, purposeful living, living on purpose, raising as much of my own food as possible and preserving it is my dream life. I am all about working with my hands and being self sufficient, and I am not a fan of having to be reliant on grocery stores to supply 98% of the food that I eat, that I don’t know where it comes from, or how it was raised. I know that in many ways I am spoiled by getting to live in the part of the country that I do, and I have so much in the way of diy, homesteading, and grow your own food resources at my fingertips, that I want to be able to avail myself of them, and live the life I have been dreaming of for years, and sharing it all with you. 

Longing for Autumn 

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday had been unseasonably cool, and a bit wet at times. 

It has been the perfect day to bake cookies, drink tea, warm some Apple S’mores Scentsy cubes in my Scentsy warmer, work on some knitting, and day dream about autumn and having a home of my own. 

I am still trying to find a job, so that I can do normal, boring adult things, as well as try new recipes and bake new stuff. I am also longing to have a home of my own and my own kitchen again. I do miss having my own kitchen. 

There are so many things I want to try cooking, baking and canning – just not all three to the same food item. I really want to make my own jams, jellies, preserves and syrups. I also want to can fruit and pickles. I want to be able to make more breads and try new main courses and be able to do some entertaining.

I would love to have a freezer full of fresh caught fish (various kinds of salmon, trout, cod, etc), some elk, venison, moose pork (raised on site), locally raised lamb, and chicken (that was raised on site). I know there are animal rights activists out there that are anti-hunting and anti-fishing. To all of them, I would rather have locally hunted/ locally caught meat, that I know where it came from and that it was free range, and wild in its natural habitat . Meat that comes from commercial farms that use hormones, antibiotics and have cruel and inhumane confinement where the animals are living in dirt and manure is poor quality even at best. 

Having had better quality food, as well as the whole fresh air, gorgeous scenery, and the whole less screen time (even if it means crappy internet), would totally be worth giving up the city life for. 

I long for a life of honest hard work, to have an overall better way of life. I want to grow and raise as much of my own food as possible, and what I cannot grow or raise (or feasibly do so on a non commercial level), purchase locally from those who do. 

I actually do enjoy Homemaking, and yes, I would rather be in the kitchen cooking, baking, and canning or out in the garden, weeding and picking fresh produce over sitting at a desk, in an office, any day of the week. 

Now watch, I may have to eat those words, but really, in all honesty, I would rather be a modern (ie have electricity, indoor plumbing, central heat and AC, and a modern kitchen) homesteader, than have a career in corporate America. I like being tired from a long day of physical work. 

Yesterday I had also worked a bit on my current sock that I am knitting up. I finally got the cuff done, which is making progress. That anymore seems to be what takes the longest since I do 1 x 1 ribbing. 

The weather yesterday totally had me wanting to to be autumn already, so it would be cool, overcast and wet almost everyday, or at least sunny with the high around 65, with cool crisp mornings, and a crispness to the air as the leaves are turning to the beautiful autumn colors. I so want to be able to decorate for autumn and be warming scents like Apple S’mores and Pumpkin Roll daily. 

Coming to terms with where I Belong

Hey Everyone!

This week I have spent some time cooking and baking, and a lot of time knitting. 

I finally got the pie of socks I was working on done. I had used 100% Merino Wool that was two strands. Man, I am glad to be done with that yarn. It was a royal pain in the rear to work with. 

I have since started another pair of socks with my favorite brand of sock yarn, and it is definitely knitting up a lot easier. 

While Portland has its chain coffee shops like Starbucks, Dutch Bros, Black Rock Coffee (which I haven’t tried yet), and the human bean, it also has its own small locally owned neighborhood coffee and tea shops that have a character all their own. I prefer these coffee and tea shops to chains like Starbucks.

I am all about buying local. While I am still not a total fan of living in Portland, I have been coming around to it more and more. As I have been exploring and spending time in the smaller neighborhoods, especially those that have a shopping district that makes it have a community and/or small town feeling to the area, are my favorites, and make living in the city more tolerable.  Not to mention that most of the city can get good internet speeds, as I would like to be making more YouTube videos once I get a new job and place of my own. 

While I am not a fan of how hot it can get in the summer, I do love the wet, mild, generally not snowy winters, as well as how well produce grows here. I should also mention that urban homesteading is big here, which I am totally on board with. It would be nice to have a garden and some chickens in the backyard. 

Living a Simpler Life

Hey Everyone!

Over the course of the past few years I have been working to figure out what I am supposed to be doing with my life. As time has gone by, I have been finding myself spending more and more time outdoors, going on adventures and hiking. Since I graduated from college, I have developed food intolerances and sensitivities, which has made food a big deal for me. Knowing where my food comes from and sticking to whole grains, lean proteins, fresh & local fruits and vegetables is my goal.

What I have come to the conclusion is that the city life is not for me, and I want to live a simpler life. A life that is less about having a lot of material goods and more about actually living life and living more off the land, without excess. 

I don’t want to live completely off grid, but I want to take advantage of a simpler life, where I make as much of my own stuff as possible. I also want to take advantage of alternative energy sources such as Solar, Wind and hydro power that are renewable. 

I have also been trying to use more natural products, as I have found that skin care, laundry care, dish care products are so full of synthetic chemicals that cause adverse reactions and have been linked to diseases that were nowhere near as prevalent 65+ years ago. 

To some extent I am going more natural, there are still areas of current mainstream society that I don’t want to go without. I know I would miss having a cellphone, internet, grocery stores (for food that I am unable to grow or raise myself), and my current wardrobe. 

I have loved being out in the woods, campfires, canning fruit, making jam, going to the farms or farm store / co op and buy what I can’t grow or is not time / cost effective to grow small scale from local farms and orchards where they grow what I want on a larger scale. I love supporting local. 

From the time I was young, I have been fascinated by Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life as a girl and young woman growing up and living on the frontier and being a pioneer. 

The college I had attended was in a small town in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of farm, wine and hops country. While I know there are towns even smaller out there, and even further away from the city. This experience, combined with the fact that I chose to spend as much time there as possible. I didn’t want to be one of those college kids who goes away to a school within 100 miles of my parents house, just to go “home” every weekend. I wanted to integrate myself into life there. I chose to stay there most weekends and most summers. It totally became my home. 

Having grown up in the city, and having had to come back after university, I have seen how expensive it really is to live in an urban area, especially on the west coast. It is difficult for a young professional, like myself to find a job I can support myself on and maintain the city lifestyle. 

My dream job is living in a small town to a small city (like under 70k people max), and blogging about living a simpler life, more off the land, where I can spend more time outside when the weather permits. I also want to blog about the homemaking end of things, as well as what I knit up for myself. 

Small Towns are where I am meant to Be

Hey Everyone! 

I know it’s been a while since my last post. Between being busy and sick, time just got away from me. 

I haven’t been to the beach since my last post, which is weird for me during the summer. The beach is seriously more my home than the city. Small coastal towns have their share of problems but I have never felt unsafe there or that it is worse than the city. 

I was out the other day and spent most of my time sitting in traffic, and was reminded of why, even though I was raised in the city, that I am not a city girl. It took me about as long to get to the bank (three miles away) as it does to go from Tillamook to Garibaldi (10 miles) or Rockaway Beach (15 miles). 

So that is what I have been up to lately; working, being sick, missing the beach, wanting a home of my own, and comtemplating my future. There is a huge part of me that misses small town life. I don’t need a Costco located 15 minutes from where I live, or a mall. I would be fine with a Safeway 10 – 15 miles away and making trips to the city for all the other stuff and see my friends here while I am at it. I totally thrived while I was in College, and the closest Fred Meyer was in a different county, and driving 20 minutes to the chain grocery store on occasion for a larger variety, and stock up. In between stock up trips filling in with the little local grocery store.